Activity of birds in the Western Hutt Hills, New Zealand
|Title||Activity of birds in the Western Hutt Hills, New Zealand|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2000|
|Type of Article||paper|
|Keywords||bird activity, counts, detection, food, forest, garden, house cats, river, voice|
This paper describes the activity of garden, bush and riverine birds in the Western Hutt hills, 1981-92. The area is 15 km north of Wellington, 7 km north of the Hutt River estuary, and 15 km south of Pauatahanui Inlet, Porirua Harbour, on the southwest coast of the North Island. Observation is based on 35 years' residence and >12 500 10-min counts conducted between 1981 and 1992. Species first seen each day are distinguished from those first heard. Whenever possible the birds' food was recorded. The western hills have fewer native passerines than similar habitat on the eastern hills. Several species increased or decreased during the study. Some apparent decline was attributed to the author's hearing loss. Wind reduced bird detection. Nectar of New Zealand flax (Phormium spp.) was eaten by silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis), tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae) and starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) at different times. In the study area there were about 0.9 cats (Felis catus) per household, a potential predator on birds.